Plus: Deep Genomics brings in life sciences veteran Brian O’Callaghan as CEO.
Welcome to BetaKit’s startup stories of the week! Here, you will find the week’s most important news, features, and editorials published on BetaKit.
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Top Stories of the Week
INOVIA ANNOUNCES $34-MILLION CAD DISCOVERY FUND FOR EARLY-STAGE VCS
Montréal-based Inovia Capital has launched its first Discovery Fund, closing $34 million CAD ($25 million USD) to invest in emerging North American venture capital (VC) fund managers focused on pre-seed and seed-stage startups.
The Discovery Fund formalizes Inovia’s existing efforts to invest in emerging VC firms as many face difficulties fundraising.
CCI CALLS FOR PARLIAMENTARY TECHNOLOGY AND SCIENCE OFFICER TO HELP GET AI REGULATION RIGHT
A new report on the artificial intelligence (AI) sector warns that while Canada is well-positioned with personnel and leading research in the area, Canadian companies face significant barriers as they scale up.
The Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI) contends that a lack of Canadian companies scaling up is leading to many of the benefits created from public investment in research and training in AI flowing to firms outside of Canada.
PROPERLY FOUNDERS EXIT AS COMPANY AND TECH ARE SOLD IN SEPARATE TRANSACTIONS
Toronto-based proptech startup Properly has been acquired, after its founders announced on LinkedIn in early September that they have exited the firm.
Details of the two separate transactions are scant, but Properly co-founder Sheldon McCormick posted on LinkedIn: “In August we exited the business after closing a transaction with Compass. Additionally, our Canadian brokerage and search portal was acquired by a Canadian real estate innovator”
DEEP GENOMICS ADDS LIFE SCIENCES VETERAN AS CEO TO SUPPORT ITS EVOLUTION INTO A BIOPHARMA FIRM
Toronto-based artificial intelligence (AI) drug development startup Deep Genomics has hired Brian O’Callaghan as its next CEO, replacing company founder and CEO Brendan Frey.
O’Callaghan brings an extensive knowledge of biotechnology, pharma, and clinical research organizations to Deep Genomics while Frey will shift to chief innovation officer and remain on Deep Genomics’ board of directors.
AS ENTERPRISES DIP THEIR TOES INTO GENERATIVE AI, PLURILOCK FINDS GAINS IN SELLING SAFETY
A few years ago, a strong password and antivirus software were all businesses needed to stay safe online. According to Ian Paterson, CEO of Victoria-based Plurilock, that era has ended.
Plurilock, which offers zero-trust authentication products based on technologies like behavioural biometrics and data loss prevention (DLP), has scaled significantly—executing a roll-up strategy that has seen the company make four acquisitions and grow its revenue from roughly $500,000 to over $64 million in just two years.
WEB3 STARTUP LAYERZERO LABS FIGHTING $21.3-MILLION LAWSUIT FROM FTX
The CEO and co-founder of Vancouver-based Web3 startup LayerZero Labs is vigorously defending the startup against a lawsuit FTX has filed against LayerZero.
The case in question revolves around bankrupt crypto exchange FTX suing LayerZero Labs to try and recover more than $21.3 million in cryptocurrency deposits made in 2022.
HOW CIOS CAN PREPARE FOR THE “TECTONIC CHANGE” OF GENERATIVE AI
Nearly every company leader in the world is thinking about the potential opportunity—and risk—of generative AI for their business and customers.
In an interview with BetaKit, Coveo CEO Louis Têtu shared takeaways from his world tour, the growth in AI-enabled experiences, and how CIOs can prepare for the “tectonic change” of generative AI.
Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs
VIC – SaaSquatch acquired by Impact.com (read more)
VAN – Spring Activator acquires Future Capital (read more)
CAL – Ontopical – $3.3M (read more)
TOR – Properly acquired by Compass and undisclosed party (read more)
MTL – GHGSat – $60M (read more)
MTL – Inovia closes $34M Discovery Fund (read more)
MTL – Paper cuts four percent of staff (read more)
MTL – Streamforge – $1.6M (read more)
The BetaKit Podcast
CAN WAZE’S FORMER CEO BUILD A SOCIAL NETWORK FROM SCRATCH?
“Canada is at the forefront. Yes, mistakes are being made, but at least they’re doing something. The US is doing nothing. And at the end of the day, these are American companies that are destroying the world.”
Post.News founder Noam Bardin shares what it’s like trying to build a new social network “in public” in 2023 and why the Big Tech platforms only fear regulation before making a pitch to Canadians looking to return news to their social media.
HOW “PIRATE” ENTREPRENEUR LLOYED LOBO KICKED HIS SELF-DESTRUCTIVE HABITS
“The company was my identity. I had this huge void to fill and I didn’t know what to do with it.”
Boast.ai co-founder Lloyed Lobo shares his personal struggles managing his addictive personality after leaving the day-to-day business before digging into the keen insights contained within his new book “From Grassroots to Greatness – 13 Rules to Build Iconic Brands with Community Led Growth.”